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HomeLatest NewsPentagon introduces its new stealth bomber, called the B-21 Raider

Pentagon introduces its new stealth bomber, called the B-21 Raider

WASHINGTON America’s latest nuclear stealth bomber makes its public debut following several years of developing it in secret as an answer by the Pentagon to the growing concern about the possibility of war with China.

The B-21 Raider is the first modern American bomber aircraft to be built in the last 30+ years. The majority that the aircraft is considered classified. Prior to its official unveiling next Friday in an Air Force facility in Palmdale, California, only artists renderings of the plane are available. The few images show that the Raider is akin to the black nuclear stealth bomber that it will eventually replace, which is the B-2 Spirit.

The bomber is part military efforts by the United States to improve the three components in its nuclear trio which comprises silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles as well as warheads launched from submarines in a shift away from counterterrorism efforts in the past to adapt to China’s rapidly evolving military needs.

China is poised to possess 1500 nukes by the year 2035. the advances it has made in hypersonics cyber-warfare, space capability and other areas are “the most serious and systemic threat for U.S. national security and the open and free global system” The Pentagon stated this week in their annually released China report.

The Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other invited guests will be in attendance Friday for the public unveiling of the bomber.

“We required a new bomber to fight in the 21st Century that would allow us to face more complex threats, including those we worry we’ll one day be facing coming from China, Russia, ” said Deborah Lee James, the Air Force secretary when the Raider contract was announced in 2015. “The B-21 is more survivable and is able to take on these more challenging threats.”

Although the Raider might look a lot like the B-2 however once you’re within, those similarities cease according to Kathy Warden, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Corp., who is the company that built the Raider.

“The method of operation internally is very advanced in comparison to the B-2 due to the fact that technology has advanced in terms of computer capabilities that we are able to integrate it into our software for the B-21,” Warden said.

Other modifications could include the use of advanced materials in coatings that make the bomber difficult to be detected, as well as new ways to limit electronic emissions to ensure that the bomber is able to cover up radars from adversaries in disguise as a different object, and the use of propulsion systems that are new as well, according to several defense experts.

In a fact sheet Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia, stated that it uses “new manufacturing techniques and materials to make sure that the B-21 can defeat anti-access, area-denial system it’s going to encounter.”

Warden did not provide details of these technologies, but he stated that the bomber will be more discreet.

“When we speak of low observability it’s extremely low observability” Warden said. “You’ll be able to hear the word, however you will not notice it.”

Six B-21 Raiders are in production as of now; the Air Force plans to build 100 of these that are able to launch either conventional bombs or nuclear weapons and be used either with or with out a human-powered crew. The Air Force and Northrop also emphasize the Raider’s rapid development. The bomber was through contract awards to launch within seven years. Other innovative fighter and ship programs have taken years.

The price of the bombers is not known. It is unclear how much they cost. Air Force previously put the price of purchasing 100 planes at an average of $550 million in dollars for 2010 which is roughly $753 million today but it’s not known what this Air Force is actually spending.

This is because the cost is not public is a source of concern for federal watchdogs.

“It could be a huge task for us to conduct our usual analysis of a large program such as that,” said Dan Grazier who is a senior defense policy specialist with the Project on Government Oversight. “It’s easy to conclude this: the B-21 is on track prior to when it actually takes off. It’s because it’s the moment that one program is put into the testing phase that real problems become apparent. That’s where schedules begin to slip , and the costs actually begin to increase.”

The Raider will not take it’s first flying flight before 2023. But, with the help of advanced computer technology, Warden said, Northrop Grumman has been testing the performance of the Raider by using a digital twin, an exact model of the Raider that is that is being revealed.

It was believed that the B-2 was also intended as an entire fleet of over 100 aircraft. However, it was the Air Force ultimately built only 21 of them because of cost overruns and a changing security situation following the fall of the collapse of the Soviet Union fell.

There are fewer than that prepared to fly every day because of the extensive maintenance requirements of the old bomber, stated Todd Harrison, an aerospace specialist and director of Metrea Strategic Insights.

B-21 Raider B-21 Raider, which takes its name from 1942’s Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, will be larger than B-2 to improve its range, Warden said.

In the month of October, 2001 B-2 pilots set a new record by flying for in a straight 44 hours in order to launch the initial bombs into Afghanistan following the September. 11 terrorist attacks. However, the B-2 typically performs lengthy round-trip flights, as there are a few hangars that can hold its wingspan. This limits the places B-2s can be landed for post-flight maintenance. Additionally, hangars have to be air-conditioned, as the windows on the Spirit don’t open. Hotter climates could make the cockpit electronics scalding.

New Raider will also have new hangars that can accommodate the dimensions and complex nature of the bomber, Warden added.



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